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of face time with president obama and mitt romney. both campaigned hard in the buckeye state tuesday. in fact romney is spending four out of five days there this week. the reason? a new cnn orc international poll shows it is a close race for ohio's 18 electoral votes with 51% backing president obama, 47% for romney. made closer after last week's debate. meanwhile ohio's election chief has asked the supreme court to reinstate a new lieu that cuts off the final three days of early voting. an appeals court blocked the law pushed through by state republicans. as romney continues to campaign in ohio, president obama is back at the white house this morning. and nbc's tracie potts joins us with all the latest from washington. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, everyone. the president dealing with romney closing the gap in a number of these battleground states, continues to say that the $5 trillion tax cut romney's proposing would add to the deficit and romney insists it is absolutely not true. >> he said if he says it's not true, then it's not true. okay. >> reporter: in battleground
battleground, obama and romney both in ohio tonight. the state that matters most to republicans. first, romney kicks off the day at a family farm in iowa where he will be speaking minutes from now. and the battle over big bird, the president turns his attack into a punch line and a commercial, as sesame workshop and senator john mccain cried foul over the obama campaign's new bird ad. >> elmo is -- has been seen in a white suburban he's driving for the border. oscar is hide out in his trash can. we're cracking down on them. governor romney's plan is to let wall street run wild again but he's going to bring the hammer down on sesame street. >> one thing that president obama can't run on is his record, and so big bird, i guess, is a fun thing to talk about. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. president obama and mitt romney are heading back to ohio today in a very different situation than the last time they campaigned in the battleground state. the new pew poll know shows governor romney ahead among likely voters. it's the latest dose of reality for the obama camp in a race that
, they both say an iranian nuclear weapon is unacceptable, but i tend to think that romney would perhaps give israel the green light to bomb sooner than obama might. this is a question of nuance. i happen to wind up on the dovish side of this issue or at least the relatively dovish side and prefer obama's apparently greater restraint and patience, but i think that's the issue where i see potentially a greater disagreement, even though their beginning statement is the same. but then romney has said he'd be less concerned about a possible israeli strike. i'm quite concerned about that. i think the president is, too. >> indeed. eugene, mitt romney in his speech today suggested that the turmoil in the middle east was because, and i'm quoting him, the president has not led. but when romney's advisers are pressed for answers, they tell "the new york times" to come back on november the 7th after the election. is that leadership? >> well, no. i mean, look, let's be honest, the whole thrust of the speech was to make it sound as if mitt romney's foreign policy would be bolder and more leader-like than
and governor romney are both holed up and hunkered done, getting ready for tuesday's big dae bait. their surrogates and spokespeople are out in full force, putting forth their views on the tightening polls. >> as i've said even when the polls were wildly positive for us, that these public polls are all over the place. and the reality of the race on the ground is that we're ahead, it's a little bit narrower than it was before the last debate. but we feel good about where we are and we've got a great ground game going. >> i think the race is very close. i think the wind is at governor romney's back and there's momentum you can see on the trail, you can see it in the data. but the country is pretty evenly divide and we've always felt this was going to be a close election. a close race. i knew that when we were behind in the polls, i know it now that we're ahead in the polls, but i believe that momentum is clearly on governor romney's side. >> look at how close this has become at the national level. a new gallup poll of registered voters gives the president a slim two-point edge. but
. obama would like to have spending end up at 23%. romney and ryan both want it down at 20%. so there's a clear difference, and they all agree on where it should go. what gets interesting is as you dig into the detail of what gets cut, and you'll see some very, i think, fascinating differences among these guys. so on social security, as you heard president obama say in the last debate, the three guys are actually in the same place. they want to spend the same amount on social security in the next ten years. when you get to medicare, romney and ryan are in the same place, but romney actually a as you also heard him say, wants to repeal the $716 billion. it's actually $900 billion of cuts. he would spend more on medicare than ryan or obama. and then you have obamacare. >> let me ask you really quickly. if anybody has heard, let me know. has mitt romney said what he wants to do with the $716 billion? >> essentially it would be used to get his spending down to that 20% level because you're going to see in a minute, he has a bunch of other places he wants to spend money. >> spend the $716
. 51%, 45%. they are both there today. we're going to listen to mitt romney live in just a moment. topping our political headlines, though, within the hour, president obama is scheduled to land in newport, virginia, he's on his way to williamsburg where he's preparing for tuesday. he used the radio and internet address to focus on the economy, touting the impact of the bailout. >> to let detroit go bankrupt. i bet on american work and ingenuity and three years later that bet is paying off in a big kwa. today auto sales are higher thain even about been in three years. gm is back. ford and chrysler are growing again. we've created a quart ore of a a million new jobs right here in america. >> mitt romney holding a rally in ohio. this hour. it's about to get under way. in fact, we're going get a live update from the campaign trail in just a moment. in their weekly address, republicans also talking about the economy. it was delivered by oklahoma congressional candidate mark wayne mullet. >> he gets it. republican majority in the house has passed several bipartisan common sense proposal
's next campaign event kicks off in less than an hour in ohio. tomorrow both mitt romney and president obama will be hunkered down, prepping for the next presidential debate. tuesday town hall format. i want to bring the brain trust in for a few more minutes if we can. jennifer rubin, the "washington post" there is bob, there is kevin. jennifer, i want to start with you. what more will we be talking about the morning after the debate? >> i'll give you a "new york post" kind of headline. 'bama bashed on benghazi. >> that's good. >> libya is becoming an issue, and joe biden actually opened up a couple of issues for him. you a drip, drip, drip now every day from "newsweek," from "new york times." a lot of finger-pointing going on between the state, between the intelligence community, the white house. i think the president is going to have to do some explaining. and i think mitt romney is probably going to begin to make this one of his top issues. >> kevin? >> the latest faked up scandal by the republicans, the nonscandal in benghazi. the headline is going to be signs of life, because i th
maintain the romney momentum? >> this is a classic case where both sides of the aisle people saw what they wanted to see. >> joining me now is brad woodhouse, communications director of the democrat national committee. thanks for joining us today. >> thanks, richard. >> the vice president is being hammered by people who say he was laughing inappropriately, very energetic certainly. smirking, interrupting frequently. let's play some of those moments for our viewers, first. >> under a romney administration, we will have credibility on this issue. >> vice president biden? >> it's incredible. >> thank heaven which have these sanctions in place. >> oh, god. >> it's been discredited by six other studies. over 100 criminal investigations. >> martha. >> go ahead. >> martha, look. >> here is some of what the republicans are saying about the vice president's performance last night. >> reminded me of al gore in 2000 walking over and standing by president bush sort of getting in his space. >> i don't know if he thought this was a joke but he was laughing a lot. >> it was bizarre. i thought it was
. >> i mean governor romney, this is his fourth day in a row in ohio. i think both campaigns have been pretty clear how important the buckeye state is. i'll ask is there a path to 270 for you guys without ohio? >> look. i don't think they've written ohio out or excuse me off. it's still their path to 270. that's why they're there. because there's excitement on the ground there. you're seeing vol -- >> can you win the presidency without ohio? >> yes. i believe so. i've not done the private polling. look what they're doing. they wouldn't be there if this wasn't a winnable state for them. one of the things you should look at, take a look at maine. there's a chance you're seeing an erosion of support for obama in a very blue state where one of them is actually pulling higher than ohio. this happened in '08 with nebraska. >> before i let you out of here, we saw them talking about abortion and he knew of no abortion legislation that would be part of his plan and ryan said he wouldn oppose it except in the cases of rape and incest and life or death of a mother. >> as a woman, i saw no dayligh
romney. >> this morning both sides are claiming victory and, indeed, everything may change in the next five days when president obama and governor romney take the stage again. but what biden did give is the president -- gave the president a path throwing his detractors off the scent and leading his best friend on the path towards victory. franklin, as the new guy at the table, i ask you first, did vice president biden get the obama campaign back in a place it wants to be? >> well, i'm not sure he got them exactly in the place where they want to be, but i think that he did help stem some of the damage. i think he made best bed wetting liberals like myself feel much better, that they had regained some of its offensive juju and weren't going to roll over why the rejuvenated romney walloped them. >> what was your assessment of paul ryan overall? we're going to get to specific sound but in terms of paul ryan and his debate skills last night, what -- how do you grade limb? >> i think what people are looking for when they are going to watch a debate like this, especially a young -- relatively
in iowa, right now mitt romney is standing both for it and against it. and at this point, in a presidential campaign, that is not tenable, not for long. also, second point, while trying to get away with this idea that he's not in favor of legislation to restrict abortion rights, despite his record to the contrary, it should be noted that mitt romney picked as his vice presidential nominee an anti-abortion absolutist named paul ryan, a man who has co-sponsored 38 anti-abortion measures in congress. who today outside an ice cream shop in florida said there is zero daylight between his and mitt romney's ideas on this subject. what paul ryan believes on abortion mitt romney believes to. right down to redefining rape in co-sponsorship with todd akin? is that included? mr. romney said today under duress that the romney/ryan position is the romney/ryan position, there's no difference between them. and he said you'll hear more about it at the vice presidential debate tomorrow. i bet you will. joining us now is steve kornacki, co-host of "the cycle." thanks for being here. >> than
personal position is very similar to governor romney's. i thought both of these -- the candidates last night were sincere and made good statements on that subject. i do think the vice president was sincerely wrong when he said that religious institutions are not going to have to provide contraceptives when it's against their crede. i think the law does that. but i thought they were both pretty good on that. i think this election is still about economics and in the first instance and then foreign policy and i thought vice president -- i thought -- i almost said vice president ryan. congressman ryan did a great job in explaining governor romney's position on those. i also think that -- >> go ahead. >> avoided mistakes and the vice president didn't. his statements on benghazi as you've been covering andrea, are going to be an ongoing problem for the administration. they really just enhanced the contradictions in the administration's policy. >> there were other issues for paul ryan, though, when it came to medicare and tax policy that have been questioned. what about the differences over m
that both sides misrepresented the facts. mr. romney misrepresented the facts on his medicare plan and on the president's. let me say, yes, he has to be aggressive in defining who mitt romney is. he'll use his own words. mr. 47%. i think, i think, lay out his vision in contradistinction to romney's and do so in a more aggressive way. >> i want to ask you about the enthusiasm gap particularly among latino voters. we see in our polling while the president has a huge edge in the latino vote, there's a real drop-off since 2008 when then it was 77% enthusiasm, now it is 59% in terms of hispanic americans. what you going to do to make sure people turn out? >> nare sending me all over the country. i'll be at jefferson-jackson dinner in iowa, i've been it to florida. we have surrogates all across the country. we have a grassroots campaign that has been talked about as the most aggressive, the most focused on social media and on a broad cross-section of speaking to voters. we're going to knock on doors and talk to voters, and we're going to get that vote out. i agree that our work is cut ou
. ryan has to defend both his record and mitt romney's, and in some cases, those two tasks midi verge. the bottom line for ryan, he has to prove he's ready to be president. that is tonight's most important test, and one that i think a lot of people miss when it comes to what a vp debate means. ryan's readiness, of course, on foreign policy, that's going to come up as well. tonight's 90-minute debate is divided between domestic and foreign policy, and moderator martha raddatz says she will alternate between the two in nine ten-minute segments. each segment will have a response followed by untimed discussion. libya will indeed come up tonight. speaking of libya, that was the subject of a heated congressional hearing yesterday that was one part spectacle and one part substance. the bottom line, no part of the hearing was good for the white house. two former security officers from the libyan mission testified that their requests for help were either turned down or ignored. >> i asked for 12 agents. his response to that was you're asking for the sun, moon, and the stars. you know what make
part a home away from home for both the obama and the romney campaigns. they're spending a lot of time here, a lot of money here because of the role that ohio may ultimately play and who wins this election come november 6. last night mitt romney and paul ryan played to a large crowd in lancaster, ohio. there was a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement in the air. and in large part because they believe the republicans believe they've won these first two debates. governor mitt romney had a pretty strong performance out in denver ten days ago. paul ryan had a pretty solid performance two nights ago down in kentucky. but that excitement and energy notwithstanding there's a lot of work left to be done for this ticket here in ohio. the president still shows a lead here in ohio, even though that lead has been chipped into over the last week or two, by about half in some of these polls. putting mitt romney within striking distance of the president. now, he may still, mitt romney may still have a challenge, a hurdle to clear with some undecided voters here. and that's surrounding this auto bai
vice president biden. both sides have played the lower expectations game. the romney/ryan team has said for weeks joe biden is one of the best debaters in washington, 40 years on the hill. obviously, he knows key policy issues like the judiciary and foreign relations with his time in the senate. he's been preparing paul ryan with former u.s. solicitor-general ted olson. they're going through a mock debate session and policy briefings. tomorrow he goes up to danville, kentucky. he has been ready for this and trying to remain relaxed over the past few days. took his kids out to a pumpkin patch and some reporters asked about the debate. oh, yeah, i should get ready for that. tamron. >> thank you very much, ron. for more on how the vice president is preparing, jokes and all for thus's debate, we go to the news campaign. what kind of scoop have you got for us other than maybe a joke pretending you forget the debate in two days. >> the vice president is in wilmington, delaware at his home. he's taking six full days off the campaign trail here to get ready. he's working with chris van holland,
be the most daunting writing he has to defend both his record and mitt romney's and we have seen over the past few weeks ryan's record and budget plan have die verged of mitt romney. vice president biden needs to have a decisive win to stem the loss of enthusiasm and get undecided voters on board and do it facing headlines like this. daily beast. biden's mission impossible, stop obama free fall with ryan debate. the hill wrote high stakes for wild card biden. politico had this one. eat crow and pray for joe. bring in nbc news political news editor and we focused on the headlines of vice president joe biden. let's play what mitt romney said on cnn about his running mate. >> i don't know how paul will deal with this debate. obviously, the vice president has done, i don't know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime. experienced debater. i think this is paul's first debate. i may be wrong. he may have done something in high school. i don't know. >> he may have done something in high school, i don't know. get to know your running mate. they should spend some time together. >> paul ryan may look youn
of the senate if they can get four seats, if romney wins the white house that number drops to three. welcome both. i'm guessing this is the only time you put on suits now. does the winner of the presidential decide control of the state senate? there's no question that it impacts races. we have said from the beginning that we think senate races can stand on their own. >> if mitt romney wins the presidency, what chances do democrats have of retaining control of the united states? >> when you look at the battleground states that you listinged. after of those states are republican held seats. >> can you gain control if president obama wins re-election? >> sure, chuck and here's why, we're win right now in connecticut, we're winning in wisconsin. we got a little separation last week or so. governor romney's strong performance, really the resurgence for the party so we feel like we have a great path to the majority with or without governor romney winning. >> let me start with a virginia. can george allen win without mitt romney carrying the state? >> obviously it would be easier if romney won the
. it is enveloping it and that's not surprising and it's obviously as kelly said envel e enveloping it from both ends questions about funding. to get back to mrs. doherty's comments i would be surprised if we hear mitt romney bring up that episode and that meeting, that sort of a what a small world it is we live in meeting again because you do not want to get on the other side of a grieving mother and talk about the mama grizzly in all of us if she doesn't want to hear him bring up her son he needs to cut it out right now. >> perhaps this will be the last word on that. >> i think so. >> ruth marcus, thank you. >> chris cizilla, thank you. up next biden versus ryan what's at stake in tomorrow's bluegrass debate. join us tomorrow live in danville, kentucky, for the vice presidential debate. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. these fellas used capital one venture miles for a golf getaway. double miles you can actually use... but mr. single miles can't join his friends because he's getting hit with blackouts. shame on you. now he's stuck in a miniature nightmare. oh, thank you.
. mitt romney and barack obama both supported, in the heat, in the flash of the financial crisis stepping in and backstopping the banks. what mitt romney took issue are are certain provisions within dodd-frank that actually institutionalized too big to fail. they actually declare certainly financial institutions as systemically important financial institutions, meaning if they get into trouble again, the taxpayers are on the hook. that's the financial plan that barack obama supports, and that's the one that mitt romney took issue to. and when romney said that to him on the stage, how does this help our economy that the federal government now has this implicit guarantee to support the banks? the president had no answer. he said mitt romney just wants to let wall street run wild. that's not what he said. he supports responsible regulation. again, the president didn't have a response. >> so we have vice presidential debate coming up. our good friend, paul ryan, is going to be debating against our other good friend, joe biden. >> joe biden is the best. >> we're just saying what a great americ
of romney in iowa and ohio in particular. they've got to rest one, probably both of those states away from barack obama. >> for all the swing states and those of you don't wake up with a map staring at you like chuck todd and myself, this is assuming mitt romney wins, florida, north carolina, virginia, colorado and nevada. a lot of swing states. he has to win two out of three out of ohio, wisconsin, iowa. i don't think he's going to win wisconsin. >> he has to win one of them. if he swept all those others he just had to win one. >> romney would? >> yes. >> if romney wins ohio, he's still -- >> he gets there. or he win iowa. he just has to win one of these midwestern states. >> which one is the best target for him? >> i think it's -- organizationally, i would say it's ohio. i don't know. i think both ohio and iowa are hard. >> mike i agree with you. i'm thinking iowa. >> i think there are huge organizational holes that romney dug for himself in both of those states. >> chuck, it's donny. you talked a lot and i found this fascinating about kind of enthusiasm gap as far as that energizing. i
between mitt romney and -- >> he likes to have it both places. >> but the big bird thing points to a larger i think willful disavowel of struggle in this country. >> and struggle and structure. you're on the titanic, i'm going to give you a voucher, a life -- you know a life boat so to speak or what he called life jacket to go on, but the ship is sinking. you plug the hole. the structural problems mitt romney seems to have no comprehension of, that they're beyond -- if i put a size 10 feet -- foot in a size 8 shoe there are structural problems. i have a choice to choose from. >> tell me about it. >> okay. so my high heels hurt me as well. the reality is that to make the argument about vouchers is really to talk about a philosophical difference but the philosophical difference rests on the convenience and luxury to say we're going to give a voucher to some to make the choice, that misunderstands the fact that so many other people don't have choices and the people that are left behind are forced into a situation over which they exercise no control. so the illusion of control by gi
presidential debate, and biden answered, and then romney answered the following day based on that answer. let me play both of those now and we'll discuss it. >> and they wanted more security. >> well, we weren't told they wanted more security. we did not know they wanted more security. >> is doubling down on denial. and we need to understand exactly what happened as opposed to people just brushing this aside. when the vice president of the united states directly contradicts the testimony, sworn testimony, of state department officials, american citizens have a right to know just what's going on. and we're going to find out. >> it sounds, governor granholm, you have the vice president and the white house saying the next day, well, it didn't come directly to the white house. there were other people who handle all of that. the white house is saying one thing. the state department another. the white house saying the intelligence community gave them this information. kind of distancing themselves from that. this was an attack on 9/11 that killed our ambassador. is it sloppy the way it's being hand
by on your side is the fact that both governor romney and congressman ryan say we are not going to make any cuts in the defense budget. it is the largest single piece of the federal budget, and i don't know any chief petty officer or master sergeant for that matter who wouldn't say, look, there are some ways to find some savings here without diminishing in any way our capacity to protect the national security of the united states. is it completely off the table? and if it is, how do you ever get to the deficit reduction that you need to without making some of the trims and making it more efficient? >> no, tom, it's never been completely off the table, and it's just not an accurate statement. we have always said that everything should be on the table. and i, for one, would never say you can defend every dollar and cent being spent at the pentagon. but what we do know right now is the question before us is is looming sequester. and that has serious implications so far as our ability as americans to be seeming a global power because if that sequester hits, i don't think there's any question th
you both. >>> even on his running mate, mitt romney cannot tell the truth. stay with us. >> i don't know how paul will deal with this debate. obviously, the vice president has done, i don't know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime. experienced debater. in is, i think, paul's first debate. i may be wrong. he may have done something in high school. i don't know. [ female announcer ] did you know the average person smiles more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth. [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects
. good morning, both of. >> did you good morning. >> susan, romney's statement appeared to be away from the democrats tried use against them and campaign quickly issued a statement saying mitt romney is pro-life. what is going on with the romney message? >> well, i think romney is -- governor romney is definitely trying to pivot to the middle. we were waiting to do this last spring and early summer when he clinched the republican nomination. he's doing it now kind of on the late side. it is the same sort of more centrist message that we heard in the debate last week. >> clearly, this is sort of across the board campaign theme that the democrats pushing. listen to bill clinton in vegas. >> i had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. i mean, i thought -- i thought -- wow. here's old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i missed you the last two years. now the problem with this deal is the deal was made by severe conservative mitt. that was how he described himself for two whole years. until three, four days before the debate they all got together and said hey,
. there was a piece in the washington post about the romney camp taking advice from both sides. you can see this in the confused nature of the foreign policy. but on the debate, again, the vagueness of it. saying, well, you agree in 2014, we do too, but and then there is that sort of -- it's very, very difficult for the romney campaign who desperately wants me to say we are not like this other guy who you don't like much, but we are. >> right. that's right. exactly. >> on the afghanistan time line, same thing. look, there is the issue of how many troops remain after 2014, 15,000, 10,000, what their abilities and what their duties will be. iran, for instance, it's like, well, i mean, there's -- we -- joe biden and barack obama have said that we will not allow iran to get a nuclear weapon. they disagreed on where this is and where the intelligence is on this. look, if you want paul ryan to be specific about it, what will you do? will you go to war? that's biden hectoring him. i think there's an opportunity for the left of the democratic party to say the same thing to joe biden. when we say we
. both president obama and governor romney have said they will prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. even if that means military action. last week, former defense secretary bob gates said a strike on iran's facilities would not work and, quote, could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations. can the two of you be absolutely clear and specific to the american people how effective would a military strike be? congressman ryan? >> nuclear gain, nuclear weapons capability. now, let's take a look at where we've come from. when barack obama was elected, they had enough material, nuclear material to make one bomb, now they have enough for five. they're racing toward a nuclear weapon. they're four years closer to a nuclear weapons capability. we've had four different sanctions, on iran, three from the bush administration, one here. and the only reason why we got it is because russia watered it down and prevented the sanctions. from hitting the central bank. mitt romney proposed these sanctions in 2007 and in congress i've been fighting for these sanctions since 2009. the administratio
that were taken, you know, friday night and in to the weekend and they continue to confirm that mitt romney's really surging in all the right places and that would become a problem. if there's sort of, you know, a draw between biden and ryan, where we say, boy, they both really did pretty well. ryan held his own, biden didn't say something crazy and they both have a lot of knowledge if not experience but they're credible and qualified and the obama ticket didn't mess up and then you saw in the polls more of a settling, i think you'd have a more competitive situation going in to tuesday night when obama has to face romney again. but if you see a great performance by ryan, some kind of self emolation of biden and surging past president obama, it's really going to put the pressure on president obama to do something starkly different on tuesday than he did last week. >> a.b. it's s.e. and nice to have a fellow initialled guest on the panel. >> that's right. >> do you think he's looking at the biden-ryan debate as an opportunity to finally right the ship or thinking just get this done and get me
a citizen and i think even sort of mr. romney, do you or do you not support roe v. wade and a woman's right to choose. jason, you and i are both college professors. obviously there's a lot of debate about truth within what we do. >> right. >> i'm concerned about the idea that we don't even in the political world know what count as evidence as the argument for the truth. >> sometimes we don't even have discussions about the evidence. we have more fact checking -- levels of aggression, did obama seem bored. was he thinking about his anniversary? before anyone talked about whether or not the man said the truth. that's the problem. we have too much discussion of the pageantry of it and not whether or not the men were saying the truth or if it's applicable if -- >>> i'm going to come back, diana to the issue you raised around taxes when we come back. i want to figure out what are the facts here. who is going to raise them, who is going to cut them. what is the truth behind the tax plans in that's next. victor! victor! i got your campbell's chunky soup. mom? who's mom? i'm the giants mascot. the
was he didn't come with a strong narrative frame, both for defending his own accomplishments and own record, give us an idea of where we're going in the next term and holding mitt romney accountable for having 87 positions on every issue. yes, it gets repetitive but if you continue to frame the issue, you know, in a more elegant way, which we know the president's capable of, you can remind the audience over and over because mitt romney has flip-flopped over and over. so, i hope we see not only -- and the president can remain polite. i just hope we see a more aggressive defense and a better frame, a better narrative about who he is, what he's done and where we're going as a country. >> let's start with the negative. let's play defense here. what about going after this 47%, when romney was being taped, not on national television, but when he thought he wasn't on national television, when he basically dismissed half the country for being slackers, moochers, whatever, loafers. when he did that, that wasn't something he was saying by accident. that is something, serious, he can still go a
is that the difference between the two campaigns is that both sides agree with the 2014 plan to leave afghanistan, but that the romney and ryan side is making it conditional whereas the obama/biden side is making it definite. is that the distinction that vice president biden was trying to describe tonight? >> that's exactly right. it's a key distinction. the longest war in american history. the american people want those troops to come home. they want to turn over to the afghans the responsibility. you should have seen the needle jump on those networks that were following it with proud reaction when joe biden made that clear. finally, after two or three times hitting on it, paul ryan backed off of it. the fact is there. romney's been talking about conditions. the president and the vice president have said they're coming home 2014. >> why did vice president biden hammer paul ryan tonight on the issue of him requesting stimulus funds for his district? i get that he caught him in a little bit of hypocrisy, but he's not realistically criticizing paul ryan for having asked for funds that the democrati
-- it was every candidate on stage showed how she was taking all sides, both sides of that issue, not actually, at the time, candidate obama. >> richard haass. >> one other thing about the speech where i thought governor romney broke ground was on syria. critical of the obama administration of doing essentially very little, more than 20,000 syrians have lost their lives and he's specifically talking about upping the army of the opposition and giving them one way or the other. sort of stuff they need of the shoot down syrian planes or tanks. this would be a major step forward and basically say we're not going to get involved ourselves, but no-fly zone or lesser american boots on the ground. but if mitt romney had his way, we would lean much more forward toward arming the syrian opposition. once you give arms, you lose control, who knows whose handses they end up in. >> and by the way, as we said when we were talking about benghazi, talking about libya six months ago, who was the opposition? >> on the other hand, there was something morally wrong. a lot of people would say not getting involved y
that. looks like governor romney who performed beautifully in that debate is -- has seen a surge as a result. i mean, we are, you know, these things ebb and flow and pushing up against another big night for both campaigns. i think that vice president biden will do well. i think that paul ryan will do well also. but i think that the issue here is you have to remember whether for mitt romney's own gaffes or whether the media built up president obama's some figure who is going to do extremely well in this campaign and wipe the floor with mitt romney, it already set the bar so high for president obama he fell very flat. didn't come close to the bar. we have an issue paul ryan is thought to be this wonky nerd and when he comes out, if he can perform even half as well as mitt romney, they are overestimated or underestimating congressman ryan, i would say if they think he will come out and just throw out a bunch of numbers and stats and not put any hard or skin in the game so to speak. he has won a congressional district because he can relate to people. i think we are going to see some
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